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As a startup founder, it is essential to motivate your employees successfully. High levels of motivation increase employee retention and decrease staff turnover. You can build a better relationship with your employees and have a stable team to work for you. However, productivity and efficiency levels will be low without a motivated team. Therefore, this article will outline the best ways to motivate your employees in an NZ startup.

Create a Great Work Environment

When employees work for your startup, they should be excited and passionate to come and work for you. Therefore, you should create an aesthetically pleasing, well-lit, and fun workspace to be in. In addition, it is crucial to have up-to-date equipment for your staff so they are able to be more productive.

Next, you should aim to create a work environment that encourages innovation, and creativity, making employees feel heard and seen. Your work environment should create a foundation for team transparency and collaboration. For instance, you should allow the whole team to provide their input to add value to your business activities. This will create a stronger company culture and better products and services. 

Your startup can integrate small activities as a way for employees to connect with each other and you. For example, you could hold team meetings outside, organise competitions and celebrate birthdays. Evidently, there are many ways to create an appealing workplace culture and motivate your startup employees.

Financial Rewards

Many employees, naturally, are motivated by money. Therefore, you must compensate employees fairly for their hard work and set up a structure where you can pay out bonuses or commissions for above-average work. 

The salary bands for your business should concern the position and amount of work an employee may do.

You can also give employees the option to buy shares in your business through an employee share option plan (ESOP) or an employee share scheme (ESS). Alternatively, you could have a profit-sharing scheme where employees get a portion of company profits at the end of a quarter or year.

Additionally, as your employees improve and become more skilled, you can also consider giving them salary raises. This can increase retention and makes employees feel appreciated. You will be supporting employees in their career advancement if you also choose to have internal promotions. 

If your startup has several short-term projects that need to be completed, employees may choose to complete this outside of working hours. In this case, you must pay employees an hourly wage for the extra hours they work. 

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Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits are additional benefits that employees receive on top of their monetary pay. You may want to offer:

  • food discounts and vouchers;
  • coffee discounts;
  • gym memberships;
  • employee stock options;
  • company car;
  • retirement planning; or,
  • childcare assistance.

Fringe benefits are useful when recruiting new employees as these will put you above the competition. They can also aid you in retaining employees who may value benefits more than cash to stay in your business. 

In New Zealand, your employees will need to pay fringe benefit tax if you supply the following benefits:

  • vehicles for private use;
  • low interest or interest-free loans;
  • free or discounted goods and services;
  • employer contributions to accident, death benefits, superannuation funds; or,
  • unclassified fringe benefits.

Provide Growth Opportunities

As your business expands, new roles will open up. Before starting external recruitment processes, you may want to consider internal promotions. Internally promoting capable employees gives them the opportunity for growth and career advancement. This can increase motivation levels and give employees a better reason to stay with your company. Employees will also feel trusted and respected for their hard efforts. 

To provide growth opportunities, you can also organise training programs.

You should ask your employees and get feedback on what skills they would like to develop further or learn. Training your employees allows them to be better skilled at their job and more motivated to stay with you due to personal development opportunities.

Finally, you can also allow employees to go to conferences to network and public speaking opportunities. 

Be Flexible

To increase motivation levels, you should be flexible with your employees so that their job does not feel like a chore. Working a nine-to-five job can be extremely tiring, so employees should have sufficient lunch breaks and smaller breaks throughout the day. As a manager, you should be understanding of your employees’ needs and not overwork them.

You can also allow employees to have flexible hours to accommodate other commitments, such as childcare. Furthermore, certain employees may not even be needed every day in the office and can be given an option to work from home.

Giving employees more freedom and flexibility shows that you have faith in them to complete the work and work at a pace they feel comfortable and productive at. 

Key Takeaways

To motivate employees in your startup, you should create a nurturing work environment, provide financial rewards, fringe benefits and be flexible with their hours and work location. Having highly motivated employees can decrease labour turnover, increase productivity levels and help you attract more staff. If you need help motivating your employees, you can contact our experienced startup lawyers to assist as part of our LegalVision membership. You will have unlimited access to lawyers who can answer your questions and draft and review your documents for a low monthly fee. Call us today at 0800 005 570 or visit our membership page

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some financial rewards I can offer to my employees?

You can offer salaries, bonuses, commissions, and hourly wage rates to your employees, depending on the work they do. Typically, full-time employees will receive a salary, and part-time employees will get wages. On top of this, you can then pay out extra bonuses and commissions for extra work an employee may do. 

How can I provide growth opportunities?

You can provide growth opportunities through internal promotions so employees can advance in their careers. You can also offer training programs for skills employees want to develop and send employees to conferences and networking events. 

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